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Otto Rahn, Heinrich Himmler & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail

Otto Rahn, Heinrich Himmler & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail.

A Look Inside Otto Rahn & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail
Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler, Hitlers number two, was a devoted occultist who believed and set out to prove a religion with the Aryan race at its center. Himmler’s plan was to use this new religion to push Christianity, which he saw as a Jewish threat, out of the hearts and minds of people the world over.

One of the keys to Himmler’s plan was finding the Holy Grail. After reading a book, “Crusade Against the Grail”, he believed one man could deliver the it. The author of the book, a man named Otto Rahn.

Otto Rahn and the Holy Grail

A Look Inside Otto Rahn & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail
Otto Rahn

Otto Rahn was an openly gay and liberal-leaning historian in search of the Holy Grail. Not the best fit for the Nazi party but if Rahn could find the Holy Grail, Heinrich Himmler didn’t care.

Before meeting Himmler, Otto Rahn circled the globe in search of treasures lost to history and his obsession was the Holy Grail.

Otto Rahn was born in Michelstadt, Germany in 1904. According to his author page, “After earning his degree in philology in 1924, he traveled extensively to the caves and castles of southern France, researching his belief that the Cathars were the last custodians of the Holy Grail.”

The Cathars were a sect of Christianity headquartered in southern France that rejected corruption and earthly indulgences and by extension the corruption of the Catholic Church. The sect accumulated a fair amount of power and influence until the 13th century Inquisition wiped out the “heresy” of the Cathars, leaving only ruins and rumors.

Inspired by the epic Parzival of the same era, Rahn became convinced that clues in the poem pointed to Montsegur Castle in Languedoc, a former Cathar stronghold, as the last resting place of the Grail.

Rahn didn’t find the Grail, but his adventures in the cathedral caves of Languedoc inspired him to write his first book, “Crusade Against the Grail”.

Otto Rahn, Heinrich Himmler and the Nazis

A Look Inside Otto Rahn & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail

The book developed a following with a particularly powerful superfan in the form of Henrich Himmler, the head of the SS. He offered Rahn the full financial backing of the SS in exchange for the Grail and Rahn’s loyalty.

The Nazi party was not a good fit for Rahn. As he was openly gay, liberal-leaning, and not anti semitic, his worldly views directly clashed with the Nazis’ ideology. Having run out of money to continue his search for the grail on his own. The lure of Nazi money to search for the Grail proved too great for him to pass up, as he joined the party in the early 1930s.


He remarked to an incredulous friend: “A man has to eat… What was I supposed to do? Turn Himmler down?”

For the next 2 years he once again fanatically circled the globe in search of the Holy Grail for Himmler. Always accompanied by 3 to 4 members of the S.S.

For all his mania, Rahn never found the Grail. But he documented the second crusade in his work “Lucifer’s Court: A Heretic’s Journey in Search of the Light Bringers”.

A Look Inside Otto Rahn & The Nazis Search for the Holy Grail

Heinrich Himmler loses faith in Otto Rahn

Although Himmler loved the book, he was disappointed his trophy room would remain empty. Rahn’s failure to find the cup of Christ, as well as the discovery of some gay affairs, did not sit well with Heinrich Himmler.

In 1937, Rahn was assigned to a tour as a guard in the notorious concentration camp, Dachau. Otto Rahn was horrified at the conditions there. “I have much sorrow in my country,” he said, “impossible for a tolerant, liberal man like me to live in a nation that my native country has become.”

He resigned from the SS in 1939, signing his death warrant. Rahn was found frozen to death in the Tyrolean Alps on March 13 of that same year, presumed to have committed suicide.

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